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Durability leads Jays to starter Roark despite red flag

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SAN DIEGO — Ross Atkins won’t be flying home Thursday empty-handed after all.

Quiet on the first two days of the 2019 MLB Winter Meetings inside the Manchester Grand Hyatt on the shores of the Pacific Coast in San Diego, the Blue Jays struck Wednesday by agreeing to terms with right-handed starter Tanner Roark, according to a source.

The deal is a two-year pact worth a total of $24 million, and will be made official once the 33-year-old passes a physical.

Roark isn’t Gerrit Cole, who the New York Yankees reeled in late Tuesday night with a monster deal that will pay him $324 million over the next nine years, but he’s a clear rotation upgrade for Atkins & Co., giving the Jays a reliable mid-rotation starter with a history of staying healthy and taking the ball every fifth day.

Ross Atkins joins Blue Jays reporter Scott Mitchell to discuss what the Gerrit Cole signing means for AL East, what they feel they've accomplished at the winter meetings this week, and the potential they select a player in Thursday's Rule 5 draft.

With the ink on the contract still drying and not yet official, Atkins declined to comment on Roark specifically Wednesday, but........